Before leaping into your MBA: advice from the wise | INCAE

Before leaping into your MBA: advice from the wise

17 de Noviembre 2014
Olivia Ferris Laporte

Before starting my MBA, I interviewed several graduates to receive their feedback on their experience (and I also wanted to make sure this was the right choice for me).
From the experiences I gathered, these are the four pointers I believe will truly enrich your MBA:

1. Connect. Really connect

Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook term called deep linking. People who seek deep linking are empathetic people who create engaging connections to propose meaningful solutions.
Most of the people whom I’ve talked to, say that their MBA years have been the best of their life. Two very tough years, but two years that will take you out of your comfort zone, make you grow, learn from the books, learn from others and learn about yourself, meanwhile making life long friends. With out a doubt, these are “deep linking” years.

2. Live on campus

INCAE is one of the Top 100 business schools that requires all students to live on-campus. It is a true cultural immersion and it is lives up to the definition of international, not only through numbers. First, students live on campus in “casitas” (little houses) of 8 people. Roommates are selected by the administration based on nationality, expertise, age and MBA section to make your house the most diverse possible. The same goes for the study groups that are assigned for two years.  The objective is to add value for students, so they become global citizens.

For example, a second year student expressed that the cultural exchange has taught him how to become more aware and find value in diversity. Students become more sensitive and connected. When something happens in their home countries, it engages other students as well. Students become supportive of each other’s causes and more comprehensive of political, environmental and social situations in the region.
In short, students create a unified region instead of a conglomerate of countries, as has been the case with Latin America. Living and studying together creates a true sense of community.

3. Create community

Another student commented that by sharing with so many talented people, they created a regional regional and global community.  Although the group is highly diverse: backgrounds, cultures, interest and professions, in the end they all share one motivation.

Moreover, your deep-linking connections can eventually become business connections. What better way to do business with someone who knows you when you are at your best and at your toughest days? To know how your partner can react under different situations will improve the business synergy.

4. It’s the journey, not the destination

Make sure that your graduate studies, or any other personal endeavor, are a profitable experience. Keep graduation day on the horizon, but don’t lose perspective on your surroundings. Remember: “it’s the journey, not the destination”.

Learn outside the classroom, through conversations, clubs, sports, debates, study groups and other extracurricular activities. Pay attention to people, customs, and habits.
Understand there is value in diversity as you will be part of it.

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